The Most Dangerous & Accident Prone Highways in Los Angeles

Los Angeles or the “City of Angels” is a city that is world-renowned for its beaches and the surfing culture in places like Malibu and Santa Monica, the huge movie industry in the neighborhood of Hollywood and is the second-largest city in the United States with only New York having a higher population. A vibrant city that has much to offer, but with so many people living and commuting to work or for recreation purposes the city has a problem with traffic control, which is inevitable like many large urban areas. With over 13 million people living in the Los Angeles metro area the roads have become over congested and at times a danger to drive on.

Anybody familiar with the freeways and roads in Los Angeles is well aware of the potential for accidents, with a death being recorded approximately every 40 hours and numerous other less fatal accidents happening every hour that requires the emergency services response, it is imperative that you have good insurance that covers health and vehicle damage. For further advice in case of an accident contact

Which are the Most Dangerous Areas to Drive in Los Angeles?

Whilst North America has some dangerous freeways and roads, unfortunately, Los Angeles has some of the worst traffic accident statistics in the United States with Fresno having the highest rate of casualties in not just California but America also. With over 150 road and traffic accidents considered serious being recorded in Los Angeles on a daily basis it is hard to understand the pressure the emergency services are under. With over 55,000 accidents each year, the city is looking to improve the infrastructure, making roads safer, and create greater awareness of the need to drive as an individual to drive in a safe and careful manner.

The Sierra Highway has the worst safety record in the Los Angeles area followed by the I-5 freeway. With so much traffic congestion and everybody’s need in today’s society to travel and commute to work the traffic is not going to get any less but the need for careful and considerate driving should always be considered.

The Main Causes of Traffic Accidents

There are many causes for traffic accidents and most can be avoided. In some cases, an accident is just an accident but most are caused by human error and poor judgment, here are the main causes not just in Los Angeles but all over the world:

  • Speeding: Speeding is the number one cause of accidents on the roads, it is only natural to like to travel somewhere you are going in the fastest time but there are speed limits for a reason. When speeding you fail to leave sufficient braking time to avoid other obstacles on the road and create a higher impact if you do crash or somebody crashes into you.
  • Drink Driving: Alcohol plays a huge part in many crashes, you may feel fine to drive but after a few drinks you become a danger to yourself and others on the road. Judgment is clouded and the response time is massively reduced. Driving under the influence of narcotics has the same effect and can have serious repercussions, also if you are prescribed medication from your doctor you should ask is it safe to drive whilst taking the medication as these can also slow your response time on the road if you are under the influence ask a friend to drive you home or take a cab.
  • Using a Mobile Device: It is something that many people are guilty of but the distraction of looking at your smartphone whilst driving is a major contributing factor in many road accidents. It is much safer to simply pull over at the next convenient place and make a call or message somebody rather than to do it whilst driving. If you have to be in contact on the road consider buying a Bluetooth device or another hands-free device.
  • Red Lights: The jumping of red lights is another major factor in a road traffic accident, it may seem that you have time to get through the light but other vehicles may often try to follow you through causing even more danger.
  • Not Using Safety Equipment Provided: Every modern car is equipped with seat belts for the front and back of the vehicle and it is mandatory by law to use them whilst driving. Seat belts help more than double your chance of injury or even death in the event of a collision and the importance of their use cannot be overstated. Equally, for motorbike riders, a helmet is essential to help avoid potentially life-threatening injuries.

Some causes of road accidents can not be avoided but many can and it is the responsibility of all vehicle owners to take precautions for their own safety and the safety of other road users and pedestrians alike.

Where Else in the World is Dangerous to Drive

Whilst Los Angeles and North America can seem like a dangerous place to drive there are many other countries with much more safety issues. Before traveling it may be something that you may wish to consider especially when taking out insurance for a holiday. Eritrea has the highest road traffic fatalities of any country in the world with nearly 50 deaths per 100,000 thousand of the population. Thailand is an idyllic sun-drenched country that has millions of visitors each year. Beautiful islands, the amazing north with its mountain ranges, to the bustling cities of Bangkok and Chiang Mai all have some of the highest road traffic accident statistics in the world. It is worth noting that during Thai New Year that many accidents occur often with alcohol being the main cause.

This is not a reason to not going to these beautiful and rich in culture countries but it may be a consideration when you arrive and you may want to consider whether or not hiring your own car is a good idea or it could just be better to hire a local driver who is familiar with the driving customs and conditions, given the low expense of having a local cab which often you can higher for the day to take you sightseeing it may be a safer option.

Take into Consideration the Weather Conditions

Being a good and confident road user is often not enough to prevent accidents, the conditions which driving in are extremely important and often have serious implications for our safety on the road. Snow and ice can be a major contributing factor in road traffic accidents as can the rain, giving a much slower braking time, it is essential to drive slower allowing time for braking or maneuvering safely within the traffic around you. 

Even on a nice sunny day, the brightness of the sun can be a distraction and using the visors that all cars these days have are a very important safety feature not to be ignored. Also wearing tinted glasses can stop the glare that you may face.


Accidents will always happen but so many can be avoided by giving consideration to other road users and taking precautions when driving. The law for drivers is made to help protect everybody, be safe and enjoy what many consider a joy to do, driving.

Robert Cooke
Rob is a certified mechanic and long-time automotive enthusiast who has worked on everyday passenger vehicles, race and rally cars, and derby cars.